The Hermès silk scarf series of metiers d’art dials is becoming one of the most consistent and dependably creative series of themed limited editions. It’s a niche audience, to be sure, and that’s what makes it such a bold endeavour. The idea that “it’s not for everyone,” is the definition of a high-end rarity.
The dials of each watch replicate Hermès scarves – in this case, designs from the 2022 collection – the patterns of which are scaled-down and recreated using various watchmaking crafts, including wood marquetry, enamelling, miniature painting and engraving: not an easy task.
The replica of “Story” dials represents an expression of the “all-digital” world, according to Hermès. The scarf was designed by British designer John Burton. He reinterprets the uses of social media and “the singular art of staging, an offbeat universe depicted beneath the gaze of various fauna amused by the selfie exercise,” according to a brand statement. The animals include a peacock, a rabbit, a playful monkey, a toucan with a top hat (Hermès loves toucans) and a turtle wearing a bowler hat – a nod to the British designer. This being Hermès, a horse takes centre stage in the scene, ridden by a princess taking a selfie using a selfie stick…something that may one day look archaic, but will surely still elicit interest in the navel-gazing era. All are hand-painted on mother-of-pearl. The 38 mm case comes in 18-karat white gold, with 82 diamonds set into the bezel and is set with alligator leather straps. It is limited to 24 pieces (POA).
The focus of the second piece is a tiger composed of wood marquetry, including 290 individual pieces cut from tulipwood, plum, ash-olive, maple and sycamore. The artisan begins by carefully selecting pieces of wood according to type, grain, colour and texture, after which it takes five days to assemble the tiger, including eyes made of turquoise. The tiger is surrounded by butterflies, a hummingbird, a peacock and a turtle in a bowler hat. All are hand engraved in gold applique and painted. Next to them are a rabbit and a praying mantis, miniature painted in various layers of enamel, all set against an agate dial. The 38mm case is rose gold and the bezel is set with 82 diamonds. It is limited to 12 pieces (POA). The strap is chantilly alligator. Both models are powered by the automatic Hermès caliber H1912, with hours and minutes and a 50-hour power reserve.
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